Grilled Portobellos with Meyer Lemon Pesto and Spinach

Grilled Portobellos with Meyer Lemon Pesto and Spinach |

Monday was all about cake. Not to give it away, but Friday is going to be all about cookies. And unlike Monday’s cake, Friday’s cookies contain absolutely zero vegetables. So let’s try to squeeze in some green stuff in the meantime, shall we?

Grilled Portobellos with Meyer Lemon Pesto and Spinach |

Look at all that spinach! I feel healthier already.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to do a lot of baking on the weekends. It’s what Nate calls my “wake and bake” (hah) – scones, cakes, muffins, etc. If we haven’t destroyed all the sweets by the time Sunday night rolls around, I try to bring them into work and pawn them off on my unsuspecting co-workers on Monday morning. They think I’m being generous, but really I’m just trying to get all the butter and sugar out of my house before I go back for more. By mid-week, I’m (hopefully) back to my healthy weekday routine of veggies, gym, and yoga.

And that’s where these portobellos come in! Last summer I discovered the portobello/pesto combination and fell in love. And while I eagerly await summertime basil (like, reeeeally eagerly), I figured I’d make a different but equally tasty citrus pesto.

Grilled Portobellos with Meyer Lemon Pesto and Spinach |

This was my first time using meyer lemons! My regular grocery store doesn’t have them, so I trudged out in a snowstorm the other day to pick some up from another nearby store. And I’ve have to say it was worth it! They are so pretty.

Grilled Portobellos with Meyer Lemon Pesto and Spinach |

If you can’t find meyer lemons, you could use a regular lemon here. Because the rind is much thicker, though, I would probably suggest using only the juice and zest, instead of tossing whole chunks of regular lemon in.

For this dish, I spread a layer of lemon pesto on top of the grilled portobello, then topped with spinach and a sprinkling of parmesan and pine nuts. You could also add a quinoa layer (or combine it with the spinach) for a more filling dish. I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure it would be delicious!

Grilled Portobellos with Meyer Lemon Pesto and Spinach |

Grilled Portobellos with Meyer Lemon Pesto and Spinach

Serves 2 as an entree or 4 as a side


For the meyer lemon pesto:

1 meyer lemon

1 small clove garlic

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/2 tsp honey

sprinkle of salt and pepper

For the grilled portobellos:

4 portobello mushrooms

olive oil

salt and pepper

2 small cloves garlic

10 oz. fresh spinach leaves

handful of toasted pine nuts

sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375. Break the stems off the portobello caps, and clean each cap with a damp paper towel. I prefer to leave the gills in, but you can scrape them out if you wish. Brush both sides lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes with the gills facing up, then turn gills face down for another 5 minutes.

While the mushrooms are cooking, make the pesto. If using a meyer lemon, cut it into chunks and remove the seeds, then toss the entire chunks into the food processor. (If using a regular lemon, add only the zest and juice of the lemon to the food processor.) Blend with the rest of the pesto ingredients, scraping the sides with a spatula occasionally, until smooth.

Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add a tiny drizzle of olive oil. Once hot, saute the garlic for 30 seconds to a minute. Add the spinach, a few handfuls at a time, and saute until wilted and bright green.

To assemble, spread a layer of lemon pesto inside each mushroom. Pile 1/4 of the spinach into the mushroom cap and top with a sprinkle of extra parmesan and pine nuts.



35 minutes

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. says

    Sounds so tasty! I’ve never used meyer lemons but they’re all over the place at stores near me! Will need to try this. I was craving summer eats the other night too and made Greek stuffed portobellos. Just need to find time to post the damn recipe! And FWIW: I like all your baking posts :) They all sound SO delicious!

  2. says

    I’m so intrigued by the meyer lemon pesto! Luckily, there is some pretty good basil at the store here in California right now…but it’s sooo expensive. Love the citrus alternative!

    And I have yet to cook my own portobellos, but I order them at restaurants all the time! This is such a perfect healthy little meal, I’ve gotta keep an eye out for portobellos now…

  3. says

    One day I hope technology is cool enough to allow me to pluck something off my laptop screen and eat it! I want this grilled portobello right now! I’ve never seen a lemon pesto and it sounds out of this world amazing! I adore pesto and never thought to make it up with lemons. Brilliant and healthy!!

  4. Dad says

    I’ve noticed when grilling portobellos that they retain more juices if I do them gills down first, then up. Do you think it makes a difference when baking them? And lemon pesto — we will definitely be trying this one!

    • Erica says

      I’m not sure, since the heat source is above instead of below when you roast them (depending where in the oven you place them). I can tell this is the Cooks Illustrated in you coming out! Good feedback.

  5. says

    We tried this tonight! This one is DELICIOUS, folks. Highly recommend. We did ours on the Weber grill, not in the oven. I used a regular lemon instead of Meyer lemon, so I only used the zest and juice per the instructions. We subbed an arugula spinach mixture instead of just spinach, and I sauteed it a little less because I wanted slightly less wilted greenery. Perfect combination of flavors with the punch of the garlic, the sweet lemon and honey, and the smokiness from the grill. To die for, folks! Highly recommend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>